We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change

by Kate Marvel

Thank you, Mike Stasse, for drawing my attention to this essay.

As a climate scientist, I am often asked to talk about hope. Particularly in the current political climate, audiences want to be told that everything will be all right in the end. And, unfortunately, I have a deep-seated need to be liked and a natural tendency to optimism that leads me to accept more speaking invitations than is good for me. Climate change is bleak, the organizers always say. Tell us a happy story. Give us hope. The problem is, I don’t have any.

I used to believe there was hope in science. The fact that we know anything at all is a miracle. For some reason, the whole world is hung on a skeleton made of physics. I found comfort in this structure, in the knowledge that buried under layers of greenery and dirt lies something universal. It is something to know how to cut away the flesh of existence and see the clean white bones underneath. All of us obey the same laws, whether we know them or not.

Continue reading. It is worth doing so.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
This entry was posted in Climate change, philosophy, Psychology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    If only there was exponential change from insanity to sanity…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Karen, since I am also well up on climate science, it is the reality I’ve lived with for many years. All the same, I can achieve contentment, and continue effective action.

    Bill Sutcliffe, the hero of my “Doom Healer” series, has said, “Everything ever born must die. We can die one at a time, or billions together. That doesn’t matter. We can die before birth, or 100 years old. That doesn’t matter. Even suffering is only short term. In the long view, we can shrug that off. All that matters is progress along the journey toward moral perfection.”

    This is one of the quotes I have used in my essay, “A band-aid: Buddhist equanimity” https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/a-band-aid-buddhist-equanimity/
    Please read it.

    Also, you will benefit from reading https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/bobbing-around-volume-14-number-13/#martine
    This one reports several email exchanges with a young lady who was being overwhelmed by the despair.

    Both are answers to the same existential despair all intelligent people need to struggle with.

    It’s OK, Karen. We can survive anything — even the end of all complex life on this planet. All that matters is what we take with us when we eventually die.

    With love and caring,

    Liked by 1 person

    • karencv says:

      I’ve said it for years: It is what it is. We have to accept what we can’t change. But there is also the element of faith, if not for the future of this world, for the next.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. karencv says:

    Oh gheez, this is depressing!


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